WE will now come down to earth.
The second part of our journey is nearly completed. It has been.
largely a journey through a desert. And yet. . .if we had paused
to notice them... our attention would have been diverted by a
number of strange growths which have sprung up in the waste
places. These growths are the products of Hindu Nationalism.
They have always been indigenous to the Indian soil, but only
since the sun of independence has risen over the horizon have
they lifted themselves out of the dust, waxed and prospered, and
proclaimed their true shape and quality. They are of the utmost
interest to the student of world affairs, for they bear no sort of
resemblance to the social flora of any other country. Let us pause
to examine them, beginning with what is perhaps the strangest
growth of all — by name Ayurveda.
If the average British or American citizen, were told that
syphilis could be cured by drinking a cup of tea, he would be
sceptical ; modern civic education has taught him that venereal
disease is not quite so simple as a cold in the head. He knows that
syphilis, at least in its first two stages, is curable, but only after
many months of skilled and specialized treatment by intravenous
and intramuscular injections.
If he were told that this same cup of tea would cure tuberculosis,
his scepticism would probably change into anger. He is aware
that medical science is making wonderful progress ; but this would
not be an example of progress, it would be a piece of witchcraft.
And when the same cup of tea was proffered to him as a specific
for indigestion, and, as if that were not enough, for brain-fever,
malaria, gonorrhoea, heart-failure, and bronchitis — inter alia — he
would be inclined to throw back the cup of tea, rather violently,
. into the face of its inventor. For he feels that persons making
such claims, even though they may themselves believe them* are
among the enemies of society.